Cork City could make football history as the first club to have a female first team coach for a Europa League tie when they return to European action later this summer. Caretaker manager John Cotter got his tenure off to an impressive start after stepping up from assistant to replace John Caulfield, with a 1-0 SSE Airtricity Premier Division win over Bohemians last Friday.
But City’s Europa League first round tie in July may force a temporary switch to comply with Uefa rules.
Cotter is still studying for his pro licence while it’s believed Colin Healy nor Alan Bennett have yet completed the badges. However Lisa Fallon, another member of Cork’s management team, is a pro licence holder.
A Uefa pro licence is required to coach in the Champions League or the Europa League. The licence is also required to manage in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division on a permanent basis.
The issue cropped up when Dundalk were looking at replacing Stephen Kenny with his assistant manager Vinny Perth. Perth had not completed his Pro Licence — he is actually on the same course as Cotter — and the Dundalk management team saw Perth appointed head coach with John Gill, who has a pro licence, named first team coach.
For his part, Cotter isn’t get sidetracked ahead of the clash with UCD at Turner’s Cross on Friday night (7.45pm), as he looks to build on the impressive win at Dalymount.
“The pro licence is ongoing. I have to continue and keep working hard here,” said Cotter.
“I don’t know, it’s something that has to be discussed but I couldn’t give you an answer now. My focus is on Friday. When we start getting sidetracked like that, we’ll start dropping points.”
Cotter has injury worries over Karl Sheppard, Gearóid Morrissey, Graham Cummins, and Darragh Crowley.
“We just need to build for Friday,” said Cotter. “If one player comes out it’s an opportunity for someone else.”
UCD beat City 2-1 at Belfield last month and sit just six points behind the Leesiders.
“Even if they weren’t so close, we’d treat everyone the same,” says Cotter. “We’ll give them the respect they deserve.”